A year in jail for a poem

Via “The Arabist“:

Bahrain: A year in jail for a poem

By AuthorUrsula Lindsey DateJune 14, 2011 at 4:32 PM Share ArticleShare

On Sunday a court in Bahrain sentenced Ayat Al Qurmazi, a 20-year-old education student, to a year in prison for insulting the king and inciting hatred. Al Qurmazi became famous after reciting poetry Pearl Square that includes the lines such as:

We are the people who will kill humiliation and assassinate misery
We are the people who will destroy the foundation of injustice
Don’t you hear their cries, don’t you hear their screams

You can see her reciting her poetry — dedicated directly to the king — here.

According to the Associated Press, while in detention Al Qurmazi was lashed in the face with electrical cables and forced to clean toilets with her hands. Here is a Facebook page dedicated to her case.


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2 opinions on “A year in jail for a poem”

  1. There are no words to describe the type of people who would commit atrocities such as this. Syria, yet another in a long list of international pariahs who hold so much influence at the U.N. I don’t get it at all. I’m not even sure I would want to hear any explanation that would defend it.

  2. A sad reminder that freedom is a never-ending destination, and a goal never universally achieved. Every day, much hard work must be done just to speak and write freely, not only in Bahrain but around the world — America included.

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